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  1. Glenys Hughes

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    Hypospadias, a common birth defect, has shown widespread variation in reported rates and temporal trends across countries over the past 30 years. A study carried out in Western Australia between 1980 and 2000 to determine the prevalence and trends of hypospadias found that the condition affects one in 231 births and seems to have increased significantly over the past 20 years. There were 1788 cases of hypospadias registered in Western Australia in 1980–2000 with an overall prevalence of 34.8 per 10 000 births. The prevalence increased significantly by 2.0% per year from 27.9 in 1980 to 43.2 per 10 000 births in 2000. Hypospadias was diagnosed as mild in 84% of cases, 11% were moderate to severe, and 5% unspecified; moderate to severe hypospadias cases almost doubled over this time. There were 1465 cases of isolated hypospadias and 18% with co-existing anomalies. Infants with co-existing genital or non-genital anomalies were more likely to have moderate to severe hypospadias compared with isolated cases. Future investigation of the aetiology of hypospadias is important to identify potentially modifiable risk factors and ensure optimal male reproductive health in the future. (Arch Dis Child published online 3 April 2007; doi: 10.1136/adc.2006.112862) …

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